Sunday, December 6, 2009

Canada's Future Depends on Healthy Aging


50 Percent of premature deaths in older people are linked to modifiable life style. That figure comes from the Canadian Institute on Aging.

"Physical activity and social engagement significantly improve health and well being throughout the second half of life," says Don Fletcher, chairperson of Active Living Coalition for Older Adults.

The organization estimates that as many as 60 per cent of older adults are inactive, which is tragic considering the scientifically proven benefits of activity include new social connections, better sleep, less pain, better physical and mental health, better posture and balance, and reduced stress.

If you or someone you know, is 45 or older, it's time to find ways to be active. Weight bearing exercise like in the photo, can be done at home with weights or stretch bands. Go up and down your stairs. Walk up and down apartment hallways, walk in shopping malls or in the parks in nice weather. Swim at the Y or community center. Find a buddy to join you.

Here's another reason to be active: A study released recently in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that people who suffer a hip fracture have a one-in-four chance of dying in the following 12 months, but noted that there was compelling evidence that about 30 per cent of falls were preventable.

Prevention is the key to better health. Physical activity every day can lead to a healthier, longer life. Have fun. Do something active every day.

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